|Henry Osinimu Tawose
NB: if you are not a patient and voracious reader, please do not embark on this journey. This post is not also for Jonathanian and buharist comments as I do not have the luxury of time for failure.
The world is languishing in shock right now. The media are left with no choice than to crawl out of their crevices of less anticipation and complacency. Research institutions and pollsters excepting for few will henceforth be stamped with incertitude and cheer disdain that court failure. That is what Donald Trump Presidency has just brought upon the world – frigid dismay!
For Prognosticators, 2016 is a market that has eaten too deep into a fabric of brimming hope and assuredness, leaving them to leaking their wounds. It is a market that should just roll-off if not for anything but for Brexit, for the little City of liecester in the English Premier League, for the Portuguese team in the Euro and lately for the Republican, Donald Trump!
Before the scale of phantasmagoria continue to seal our eyes off reality, it is pertinent to jolt our memories back to factuality that Donald Trump will be occupying the Oval Office for the next four years. His wife, Melania, along with his children will do what Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama have done for the last years. Trump will be an Occupier and not a Guest!
While the vitriolic verbal exchanges during the electioneering are not only unprecedented in the history of the United States of America’s 240 year old democracy , it has formed vestiges of paranoia in the hearts of the people who had no option but took to the streets to protest Trump’s Presidency.
Donald the Trump, has won the battle through the crudest and dirtiest way of soliciting for votes, he henceforth has wars to fight, hence, the unification of the country which is just seeing to an end the tenure of the first black man president lies on his shoulders. The onus lies on him, if Candidate Trump in the 2016 election will continue as President Trump or President Trump will assume the position presidentially and stopped being Candidate Trump. This will eventually play out in the next four years. The tweet-reversal on protesters experienced yesterday by Americans was an example of a president who is struggling to put to crucification his old self. Americans should be prepared to witness worst scenarios.
However, the following are the significances and what to look into after this stunning electoral victory;
– Donald Trump does not fill into Democrats box or the Republican leadership style. How he will lead the US without prior experience is what political enthusiasts and scholars are looking forward to.
– Could Bernie Sanders have beaten Donald Trump to the Presidency? While this question is difficult to answer, it was obvious Americans wanted “Change.” They were repulsive of “establishments” and hated government – a group Clinton represents. It is ironically surprising that some fifteen States Sanders won in the primaries all went to Donald Trump in the general elections. Uncle Bernie, an independent, anti-establishment, and Pro-social welfare was already building a movement before the grounded Clinton stifled him out. The irresponsive and unenthusiastic attitude of Bernie Sanders’ supporters to Clinton course is also a factor that lost the election in the Democrats front.
– The FBI has always been an autonomous body, free from governmental manipulation but it was shocking how James Comey, the Director of FBI irrational decisions, wrong timing actions and inactions influenced the election. James Comey won and lost the election. His name will not go down well in history.
– Unlike the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Democrats have regrouped and already engaging in brainstorming sessions on the United States of America after an election and, strategizing on “how to start winning elections again.”
– Machines are man-made and are vulnerable to malfunctioning and failure. In the last US elections, machines malfunctioned and electoral officials couldn’t have gotten a more reliable and credible election without resorting to Manual conducts. Therefore, a situation like this would have sent a whole local government or senatorial district to disenfranchisement in Nigeria. A “back-door” tribunal would have been opened for the purchase of victory.
– President Obama and his wife will for a very long time be a strong influence in the US National politics. His efforts to protecting and and strengthen his legacies by trying to get the first woman elected into office as President could have been legendary.
Meanwhile, if driving the US out of recession and bringing Osama bin Laden down to justice will easily be forgotten, his effervescence, magnanimity and oratorical sagacity is too layered in history to be forgotten. No one handles the aggression of Trump better than Obama in the US politics. His emergence in 2008 remains a study to be subjected to intense research. President Obama remains a phenomenon, the only president after Ronald Reagan who had a good approval rating after a second term in office. Ronald Reagan, described as a good president had garnered 58% as his approval rating by Americans after a second term while Obama had 55%. Though laced with some short-comings, a president like Obama does not hastily grace a political turf like that of USA in a short time. It will take a long time for the United States of America to have another Barack and Michelle Obama. They were outstanding occupiers of the white house.
– Will Hillary Clinton relaunch a comeback? This might be difficult to answer as the former Secretary of State never mentioned this. Though, too early to talk about this, regrouping and political convalescence after a blistering campaign must be on top agenda now. Meanwhile, considering William Henry Harrison, who remains till date the only president in the history of the United States of America with the shortest term in office after dying in his 32nd day of assumption in office after suffering complications from pneumonia, one would say Hillary might not come back. Also considering Donald Trump, 70, who is the oldest president in history and Abraham Lincoln who contested for political positions copious times without success, one would say she might relaunch herself back to the public domain in four years time when she will be seventy-three or in eight years time when she will be seventy-seven. Trump success or failure in office might determine her comeback.
– It will be a catalogue of catastrophes to the United States and the world at large if Donald Trump delivers on campaign promises. Racism might be “officially” re-entrenched, Islamophobia aided and xenophobia un-curtailed. Due to these, economy might crumble as immigrants are the core drivers of the US economy.
The US Estranged Allies
In recent times, US strong allies are beginning to feel uneasy upon cross diplomatic interests.
– Turkey, currently recuperating from a treacherous coup scare, has accused the United States of America as a mastermind of the coup as a result of its unwillingness to extradite Fethullah Gulen whom the Turkish government has fingered for the coup. The job for the US President-elect is to find a common ground of agreement between these two countries. If the US wants to recover it’s eroding vast posture in the Middle-East, then Turkey must remain a strong Ally.
– Israel has always been a reliable ally of the US until recently when the Israeli government decided to maintain a wide-berth with the Obama administration. It wasn’t a surprise when Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly reached out to President-elect, Donald Trump elatedly. It remains a choice if the emergence of Donald Trump will rework US – Israeli relationship.
– China is now a leading economy in the world. A threat to the United States of America. These two countries have not only disagreed on southern China sea but on many grounds. Lately, China has become the Tiger who can not be subjected to a Lion’s rule. How will Donald Trump handle China?
– With time, it would be seen if Vladimir Putin’s support for Donald Trump will benefit the two countries or if Russia is out to benefit at the expense of the US, hence reducing the Trump mechanisms to “puppetry.”
– Aleppo has been described by some as the highest dehumanization, destruction and destitution of mankind. In Aleppo, all parties are losers! No winner! The Obama administration consumately failed in the restoration of peace in Syria. Under a new regime, will the US make a U-turn to support Russian’s Assad? How will it broker an agreement that will restore normalcy to the region without effacing it’s age-long international stature and integrity? Supporting the Syrian government simply means succumbing to Russian dominance in Syria. Which path will Donald Trump tread?
– Mosul is the resultant of US failures and undoing. The battle to uproot ISIS/ISIL from Iraq is on top heat currently. People are being used as shields by the unrelenting ISIS. It is left to see the plan, the place of the US in the success of mosul. The success of mosul might determine the success of Aleppo and the whole of middle east but hopes should never be raised as Donald Trump never outlined any plan for this during his campaigns. Mosul might win, but the US might lose in Mosul.
– Yemen is in a terrible mess. How will the US clean up Saudi Arabia’s mess in this region without increasing international enemies?
– The Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte has been described by President Obama as a “colourful character.” Duterte is known for his curses and strong invectives in the international scene. If President Trump remains Candidate Trump, then the world will experience an inexhaustible drama between the duo.
– Kim Jong-un of North Korea remains a dictator-in-chief of world politics. The nuclear codes on his palms regenerates him daily. What does Donald Trump Presidency versus Dictatorial Kim Jong-un hold for the world? A curse or an Armageddon?
In the light of the above issues, these are not ordinary times for the US and the world at large. These are significant periods. The leadership of the US government did not emerge for nothing but for serious business. It is yet to be witnessed, if the distasteful and discoloration of an election is capable of plunging the world into a conflagration of woes for the next four years. Donald J Trump will give us an answer in 2021 when his four year term elapses .
Tawose is a media scholar based in Lagos, Nigeria.